Compressed NEF ?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by PJohnP, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Anybody here start to play with the compressed NEFs on the D200 ?

    As many of you might recall, the compressed NEF format was an active area of debate with the D70, some claiming it was much more "lossy" than advertised by Nikon, others saying it made no functional difference in image quality. I don't recall an authoritative answer on the subject being mentioned anywhere, although I certainly make no claims to see all of the fora across the internet.

    I have not the slightest idea if the D200 compressed NEF format is the same as the D70 compressed NEF file format, BTW. It's another quite different, but nonetheless, related question.

    Perspiring minds want to know about this [especially given larger D200 file sizes and the note in the D200 manual, "... Recording time is reduced." (pg 31)].

    TIA for any reasonable comments about this.



    John P.
     
  2. I only used compressed NEF due to the desire to maximize card space and some comparisons done with the D2X here.
    The compression there didn't give much difference at all except perhaps a slight advantage in perceived sharpness, if I remember correctly.

    The compression seems to be a lot more image-specific than the D70 had, i've gotten from 7mb to nearly 12mb, with 8-10 being the main area... and my results have been nothing short of perfect.
     
  3. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Says on Page 31, a little loss in quality ..
    hummm.
    Since I don't want to buy any more cf cards...???
    I have now 2-2 gig. = 242 images. uncompressed....(raw only)
    1-1 gig
    2-512's

    will be interested myself.
     
  4. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    I haven't taken any in NEF yet. Other than to play with two for the "Overlay" Function, but then I deleted them. Based on the way my JPEGs have turned out, it may be a while before I start shooting RAW/NEF again - at least until I get 4Gb CF card. My 2Gb card will hold 88 images in the NEF+JPG mode.
     
  5. yeah John I would be very, very interested in the answer to this as well. Is anyone up for making some controlled tests?
     
  6. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Janet :

    Unfortunately, I don't have the kind of controlled circumstance studio to make really good tests. And, in all honesty, I think this is one of those kinds of things where the differences will be subtle - perhaps important, perhaps not - but non-trivial to characterise. It's the kind of thing Phil Askey over at DPR used to do more of in his heyday.



    John P.
     
  7. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Harrison :

    A lot of the discussion regarding compressed NEFs with the D70 revolved around colour issues, IIRC.


    John P.
     
  8. The biggest difference I have seen is in highlights. You lose 2-3 bits of data by going to compressed NEF, which I normally shoot by the way, and if I had any brains I would have shot some uncompressed today to see if I could see the difference, Jim and I had some some on Bald Eagles and it would have been a good test to see the difference.

    The term usually used is "visually lossless" and to the eye in most circumstances I don't think it is easy to tell, but for really critical bits, you do get all 12 bits of data, rather than 9 or 10.
     
  9. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    We had a discussion on that.

    Iliah offered alot of information on this subject.
    Guess we should go dig up that thread.

    He really had the answers to that in there.
     
  10. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gale :

    I looked at those threads at Thread1 and to a much lesser extent Thread 2 (more about exposure in the latter, but it actually seques from the first in an odd non-chronological way). It seems to indicate that highlight details could be lost in the compression. Bill (Retief) also echoed this. I didn't get a good idea from that thread or Bill's remark just how significant the loss is, though.

    As well, this doesn't address if there have been changes in the NEF compression (note that the D100 and D70 NEF compression are quite different) because the discussion took place months before the D200 was announced (let alone released).

    All food for thought, I suppose, but I hope for some further analysis along the way. < hopeful look >


    John P.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  11. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Just found a discussion over at Nikonians where they assert that the D200 and D70 compression for NEF is the same process. See : Nikonians thread

    John P.
     
  12. John, to be quite honest with you, I am not sure how significant it is either. Now that I have a camera with a google-zillion-mega-pixels rather than my paltry 4mp D2H I may actually care more :wink: . Once I have another sunny day I'll give it a try and see if the highlights do hold better. On a purely empirical level, keeping all 12 bits has to be better that tossing a couple away, and with the changes in software that occur over time a difference that you may not see today could be significant tomorrow. I don't know if you have re-processed anything more than a couple of years old in the latest versions of Capture and/or Photoshop, but WOW what a difference a few versions can make. For many people that, in itself, is good enough reason to not shoot compressed.
     
  13. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Bill :

    Now, that is a good point !

    I'm still intellectually curious about just how all of this will play out, and it might well be a good item for me to test when I'm shooting industrial facilities, where my needs for highlight recovery are more modest (not terribly many calls for me to shoot bald eagles or ospreys in the plants, although I've seen many around the facilities). I shoot so many angles and exposures in those plants that the compressed NEF would give me a little relief from changing CF cards in a messy (and often dusty) environment.


    John P.
     
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